Progress With Chess – Officers Teach Life Lessons Through Chess

Progress With Chess, Inc.

The Progress With Chess program, under the Department of Student Activities, commenced during the 2001-2002 school year and has been met with enthusiastic support from administrators, principals, teachers, and students. The Program has provided instruction to over 500 students each year, introducing chess to most for the first time. Chess instruction now takes place during the regular school day in seven K-8 schools, one day per week, in 3-6 classrooms per school (30 classrooms total) for fifteen weeks.

The Cleveland Metropolitan School District has supported the program by providing funds to purchase the chess sets for all participating schools and covering many of the expenses involved the our year-end Chess Challenge, a tournament and exhibition at the downtown public library for all participating students. The School District has also covered costs associated with transportation, lunches, table rental, trophies, teacher and administrative time.

The Cleveland Public Library also has supported the efforts of the program. For the past twelve years, the Library has donated the use of the auditorium and the use of an entire floor of the library for two days during the Chess Challenge. In addition, the Library has donated hundreds of hours of staff time to help with planning and conducting of the event, which brings a lot of joy to the participants.

From 2003-2008, Progress With Chess received a grant from the Cleveland Metropolitan Schools 21st Century After School Program. Our current funders include RPM, Inc., The Cleveland Foundation, The George Gund Foundation and The United Black Fund.

Additional support for the program has come from the Cleveland Division of Police, which allows officers like Detective Carl Bowers and Patrol Officer Erwin Eberhardt to take time from their busy schedule to play chess with the students at the Library Chess Challenge. The Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association and The Black Shield donate scholarship money to the schools with the most trophy winners at the Chess Challenge on a yearly basis.

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Cleveland Division of Police: Recent Promotions

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Mayor Jackson administered the Oath of Office to newly appointed police supervisors. These new supervisors included: OneDeputy Chief, two Commanders and one Sergeant. On March 10, 2014, Commander Joellen O’Neill was sworn-in as Deputy Chief, and on March 25, 2014, Captain Debra I. Cavett was sworn-in as a Commander of Police, Lieutenant Daniel M. Fay was sworn-in as a Commander of Police, and Patrol Officer Jennifer M. Kemer was sworn-in as a Sergeant of Police.

Deputy Chief – Joellen O’Neill

Deputy Chief Joellen O’Neill was appointed to the Division of Police in 1992 and has previously served in the Third District, the Personnel Section and the Bureau of Support Services.  Deputy Chief O’Neill was promoted to Commander in 2007.  She recieved her Bachelor of Arts Degree from John Carroll University.  Deputy Chief O’Neill will serve as the Executive Officer to the Chief of Police.

Commander of Police – Debra I. Cavett

Commander Debra Cavett was appointed to the Division of Police in April, 1996 and has previously served in the Third and Fourth Districts and on the Services and Property Unit. Commander Cavett was promoted to Captain of Police in 2011 and has received multiple Letters of Commendation and Appreciation throughout her career. She received a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Cleveland State University. Commander Cavett will serve as the Commander of Communications and Property.

Commander of Police – Daniel M. Fay

Commander of Police Daniel Fay began his career with the Cleveland Division of Police in August, 1996. His previous assignments include patrol in the Third and Fourth Districts, service with the Community Policing Unit, Chief’s Office and time with Internal Affairs. Commander Fay was promoted to Sergeant in 2003 and then to Lieutenant in 2011. Commander Fay has Letters of Commendation from former Chiefs Martin Flask and Michael McGrath. He has received a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Cleveland State University. Commander Fay will oversee the Bureau of Support Services.

Sergeant of Police – Jennifer M. Kemer

Sergeant Kemer was appointed to the Division of Police in 1997 and has since served in the First and Third Districts, Community Policing Unit and in the Police Academy. Sergeant Kemer was awarded a Medal of Heroism from former Chief McGrath, two Distinguished Service Medals, a Certificate of Appreciate and numerous Letters of Appreciation. Sergeant Kemer received her Bachelor Arts Degree from Cleveland State University.


Change in Command – Second District

Today, Chief Calvin D. Williams announced he will join new Second District Commander Thomas Stacho at the April Community Relations Board meeting.  Chief Williams and Commander Stacho will also be available to meet with Second District residents and community members at future neighborhood meetings.

“I am confident that Commander Stacho will continue to maintain and build upon the existing relationships and partnerships between the Division of Police and the Second District community,” said Chief Williams.

Chief Williams would like to commend Captain Sulzer on his dedication to the Second District community  Captain Sulzer chose to step down from his position of Commander of the Second District.  Captain Sulzer, now assigned to the Bureau of Community Policing, will build upon the strong community relationships he developed in the Second District, and will now expand those efforts to all city neighborhoods.

Commander Thomas Stacho assumed command of the Second District Today.